"The Essential Amish Cookbook" has recipes that stick

Luisa Miller, MennoMedia intern
May 8, 2017
Mennonite Church Canada/MennoMedia
The Essential Amish Cookbook cover.
Potato pancakes from The Essential Amish Cookbook recipe.
Strawberry muffins from The Essential Amish Cookbook recipe.
Asparagus  from The Essential Amish Cookbook recipe.
Winnipeg, Man. and Harrisonburg, Va.

Herald Press is publishing a new cookbook by prolific Amish recipe author Lovina Eicher: The Essential Amish Cookbook: Everyday Recipes from Farm and Pantry.

While this is Eicher’s first solo project, she is experienced at sharing recipes. She is the author of Lovina’s Amish Kitchen, a syndicated column published in newspapers across the United States, as well as in a weekly blog hosted by MennoMedia. She has also collaborated with other authors or editors to create several other Amish cookbooks, including The Amish Cook at Home and Amish Cooks across America among several others.

Eicher began her cooking career at a very young age by helping her mother, the late Elizabeth Coblentz, in the kitchen. Elizabeth Coblentz was well-known for her syndicated column, The Amish Cook.

“One of my earliest memories was watching her knead the dough when she was making cinnamon rolls,” Eicher recalled in an interview. “When she’d go in the next room to do something, I’d quickly squeeze the dough. It just looked so fun.”

Eicher’s latest cookbook includes basic categories such as “Soups and Salads” and “Meats and Main Dishes,” and more specialized ones like “Amish Wedding Meals.” She chose easy-to-follow recipes that use everyday ingredients. “I went with recipes that I use and like,” she said. “Everyone has a recipe that they like best to make bread. I’ve tried different kinds, and I always go back to the one I started with, which was my mother’s [Lovina’s Homemade Bread]. Some recipes just stick with you for life, I guess.”

Eicher’s writing career began after her mother’s passing in 2002, when she took over Coblentz’s syndicated column. “At first I didn’t consider myself a writer,” Eicher said. “I just wrote a letter like I was writing to a friend. I just wrote about my family.”

Although she felt intimidated about following in her mother’s footsteps at first, she now considers writing an important part of her life. “It’s like a diary,” she said about her weekly column. “There are so many things I write about that I would have forgotten. It’s something I have to do that I wouldn’t do otherwise. I think it would be so nice if every mother would just sit down every week and write down what happened that week. You think you don’t have time to sit down and write, but if you have to, you find time.”

Ingram’s Christian Advance calls The Essential Amish Cookbook a “book with beautiful and helpful images along with simple instructions that let us share a taste of the simple, joyful Amish life through the universal language of food.”

Sherry Gore, bestselling author of Me, Myself, and Pie, says, “I love this cookbook. Like thousands of others, I am a big fan of hers!”

Eicher and her husband, Joe, have eight children and live in Michigan.

The Essential Amish Cookbook: Everyday Recipes from Farm and Pantry is available for purchase from www.commonword.ca/go/1197.

Herald Press is the book publishing imprint of MennoMedia, a ministry of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA. MennoMedia resources can be previewed and/or purchased at www.commonword.ca , where sale items are priced competitively with major online retailers, and loaned books are shipped free. You can also browse MennoMedia resources at www.mennomedia.org. Your purchases help support Mennonite Church Canada and its publisher.

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